Strong Pitching Lifts Penn to a Pair of Victories over Princeton
PHILADELPHIA - Strong outings from Mikenzie Voves and Cailyn Hennessy lifted Penn (12-16-1, 4-6 Ivy) to a pair of Ivy League victories on Friday against Princeton (13-19, 4-6 Ivy). In game one, Voves got the start and went the distance in the Quaker's 4-2 win. In game two, Hennessy shut down the Princeton offense for the second game in a row, giving Penn a 2-1 win and a sweep in the opening doubleheader between the two squads.
Game 1: Penn 4 Princeton 2
In game one, Voves set the tone early for Penn as she allowed just two hits in the first two innings. In the bottom of the second, Penn would get its first good scoring chance of the afternoon. With one out, Kelsey Wolfe was hit by the pitch to put a runner on and Jessica Melendez hustled out an infield single in the hole at short to put two runners on base. Samantha Erosa would then also be hit by a pitch to load the bases, but a groundout to the shortstop would end the Quaker threat.
In the third inning, Voves yielded a leadoff single, but got a strikeout to put one away. With one out, Alisha Prystowsky gunned down a runner trying to steal second following a nice tag by Stephanie Caso. Voves would then post her third consecutive scoreless inning after her second strikeout off the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Brooke Coloma would single, but Penn could do no more damage. In the top of the fourth, Voves induced two fly balls to Coloma in right and took the third one herself on the swinging strikeout.
After putting runners on base in each of the first three innings, Penn would get on the scoreboard in the fourth. The inning started out with two consecutive groundouts to short, but Melendez singled into centerfield with two out to keep the inning alive. Erosa would drop a ball near the right field line to put runners on the corners with two out. Elysse Gorney would then put the ball in play at the shortstop, who then could not decide whether to go to second or first for the out. After a moment of indecision, she tried to go to second for the force, but Erosa hustled the whole way and beat the play, allowing Melendez to score from third on the play.
Voves protected that one run lead in the fifth, allowing just a two-out single in the inning. In the sixth, Princeton would finally get on the board. Following an infield single and a walk with one out, Voves got a ground ball right back at her and got the easy out at first. This put two away, but also moved the runners up to second and third. With two outs, Voves got the ground ball, but it took a bad hop on the infield over Wolfe's glove and into right field, allowing two runs to score. Voves would then get the strikeout to end the Princeton sixth.
Penn would answer right back in the bottom of the inning. Meg Krasne started the inning off legging out an infield roller down the third base line. She was the moved into scoring position on a Melendez sacrifice bunt. Erosa, who just seemed to be in the middle of every critical play during both games, singled into right field, bringing home Justine Payne, who was running for Krasne, from second. Gorney would then bunt Erosa into scoring position and Stephanie Caso would put the pressure on the defense with a ground ball to third that went through the fielder's legs and allowed Erosa to score from second. Caso would move up to second on the play and score on a Prystowsky two-out single up the middle.
In the seventh, Voves shut the door for good on Princeton as the Tigers did not get a ball out of the inning and the side was retired in order.
Voves picked up her seventh win of the season, allowing just six hits and one walk, while striking out eight. Melendez and Erosa both added two hits for Penn, while also scoring the game winning run.
Game 2: Penn 2 Princeton 1
In game two, Hennessy was counted upon to come up big for the second game and she did not disappoint. She allowed just two hits over the first three innings to keep the Princeton offense down. However, her counterpart was just as good during the first two innings as she also held Penn off the board in the first two innings. Penn would have a chance to score in the bottom of the second when Kayla Dahlerbruch singled to start off the inning. After two straight outs, Melendez doubled into right field and Penn tried to be aggressive on the base paths, sending Dahlerbruch home from first. Penn's aggressive play would go unrewarded this time as Princeton made the play at the plate to end the inning.
The Quakers would break through in the bottom of the third however. Erosa led off the frame with a walk and was moved over to second on the Gorney sacrifice. After she was unable to advance on the second out of the inning, Prystowsky singled back through the middle for her second two-out RBI in as many games.
Neither side would score in the fourth as Hennessy continued to stay in control inside the circle. Heading out for the fifth, Hennessy allowed a leadoff single, but got the first out on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, Prystowsky made a nice diving play behind the plate to catch a foul pop and record the second out. Hennessy induced the grounder to second and Princeton was again turned away in the fifth.
Penn would add its second run in the fifth similar to the way it scored in the third. Erosa led off the inning with a single into right and moved over to second on the Gorney bunt. This time, Caso brought home Erosa on her single into centerfield to give Penn the 2-0 lead. This run ended up being the game-winning RBI as Princeton would score once in the top of the sixth.
The Tigers started the sixth off with back-to-back singles and would advance the runners to second and third when Penn over ran a ball in the outfield on the second single. Hennessy would get a groundout to second to get the first out, but a run would cross the plate. With one out, Caso made a great over the shoulder catch at short to hold the second runner at third with two outs. Hennessy would get out of the inning with another grounder to second for the final out.
Penn would be unable to add any more insurance in the sixth, but it would not make a difference as Hennessy worked around a leadoff single to preserve the one run lead.
Hennessy picked up her third win of the season in the game, scattering seven hits and allowing no walks, while striking out three. Melendez and Erosa each added a hit in game two, giving them three on the day, while Prystowsky had a pair of hits in game two, giving her three on the day as well.
With the pair of victories, Penn now moves into a second place tie with Princeton in the South Division of the Ivy League. All the other teams in the Ivy League will try to get their first doubleheaders in on Saturday. Penn and Princeton will play the second doubleheader of their series this Sunday with the first game starting at 12:30 p.m.
A live Blog and Live Stats will once again be available for this Sunday's games.